Toward a Sustainable Neighborhood: Examining the Impact of Mixed-use Development on Neighborhood Energy Consumption

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Hashemi Toroghi, Shahaboddin
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The population in urban area is expected to increase more than 12% during the next 30 years. The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is a fast-growing trend in creating a sustainable community in urban areas. TOD goes beyond a dense development strategy to oppose the sprawl development, and suggests a compact development around transit system, with a pedestrian-friendly and mixed-used environment. TOD proves to bring many benefits to residents such as providing a low-stress atmosphere with much lower automobile dependency for the residents, reduction in carbon footprint, stimulation of the local economy, and higher accessibility. The impact of TOD on building stock and transportation can result in change in energy consumption per capita compared with a regular urban development strategy. In this study, I assess the impact of TOD on energy consumption in two main sectors: residential (buildings) and transportation in the city of Atlanta. The scope of study consists of three neighborhoods that are selected from three different socio-economic levels within the boundary of the Atlanta Metropolitan area. This study compares the energy consumption in both residential (building) and transportation sectors, before and after the TOD for each of the selected areas. The result of this study can help city planners, investors, and policy makers to develop a better strategy for a sustainable urban development via TOD, while aiming any specific neighborhood with strategies tailored to socio-economic characteristics of the target area.
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